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Airplane giant Boeing was hacked by ‘WannaCry’ computer virus

Boeing’s KC-46 (Flickr/Ken Fielding)
March 29, 2018

Boeing, the airplane manufacturing giant, was hacked by the “WannaCry” computer virus this week, and it gave employees cause for panic for several hours, as it was believed production had been stalled.

On Wednesday, a memo was sent out to all Boeing employees by chief engineer Mike VanderWel regarding the malware virus “WannaCry,” which had reportedly infiltrated much of Boeing’s software and was initially believed to have affected production.

The memo said: “All hands on deck. It [the virus] is metastasizing rapidly out of North Charleston and I just heard 777 (automated spar assembly tools) may have gone down,” according to the Seattle Times.

The WannaCry computer virus jeopardized Boeing’s equipment, production and operational aircrafts.

WannaCry is a ransomware virus that packed a one-two punch in 2017, infecting around 200,000 computers globally, specially targeting Microsoft operating systems.

Boeing this week said: “A number of articles on a malware disruption are overstated and inaccurate. Our cybersecurity operations center detected a limited intrusion of malware that affected a small number of systems. Remediations were applied and this is not a production or delivery issue.”

Nat Levy from GeekWire explained how the WannaCry ransomeware virus works to KIRO Radio: “It holds your system for ransom by locking you out of your computer or the software that you need to access to do your work. It kicks you out until you pay a ransom of some sort. Sometimes it’s cash, sometimes it’s Bitcoin. It basically knocks your operation down by implanting this virus into your system,” according to My Northwest.

Levy, expressing a bit of shock about the hack, said: “Boeing is interesting because it has so much on the line, security-wise. It’s got so much national defense work. If you are going to be surprised by anyone being hit by this, you are going to be surprised by a company with that level of security.”